Caption: Ampuan Hjh Lilymaryani Ampuan Hj Salleh (4th from right) and Hj Osman Hj Yahya (4th from left) in a group photo before departing for Australia yesterday. Picture: Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh.
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI will be competing at the Lawn Bowls World Cup Singles Championship 2017 in Warilla, Australia.
The Sultanate will be represented by the duo of Ampuan Hjh Lilymaryani Ampuan Hj Salleh and Hj Osman Hj Yahya at the March 14-22 tournament.
Ampuan Hjh Lilymaryani will be up against contenders from Australia, Canada, Fiji, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Norfolk Island and Spain.
On the other hand, Hj Osman will be pooled in group B with world class players from New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Fiji, Singapore, Turkey, USA, Hong Kong, Malta and Australia.
“We are excited to be competing in this tournament and we hope that we can channel this positive energy into our games and at least win a medal in this outing,” said Ampuan Hjh Lilymaryani in an interview with BruSports prior to their departure at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.
“This is also our first time competing in the singles event, so it will be a totally different new challenge for us in this tournament,” added Ampuan Hjh Lilymaryani, a gold medalist at the Mini Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in 2015.
Hj Osman said that they have been working on their attacking and ball placement for the past months.
“We started our intensive training early this year in January, under the supervision of our coach Hj Abdul Ghafar POKL DSS Hj Mohd Taha who volunteered to coach us for this tournament,” said Hj Osman.
“We have been working a lot on our attacks and ball placement and there are also strategies to catch up whenever we are trailing.
“We also get to spar with the country’s best players such as Hjh Amalia Matali and Abdul Rahman Omar for the past month to build mental toughness,” he added.
Hjh Amalia and Abdul Rahman made the country proud after winning silver and bronze medals respectively at the prestigious World Singles Champion of Champions at Club Helensvale in Gold Coast, Australia in December.
Present at the airport to bid farewell to the team was coach Hj Abdul Ghafar and Hj Johari Achee, the president of the Wisdom Bowls Club.
“This trip to Australia is self funded and it is good to see that they have the initiative to do this and sacrifice their own expenses to represent the country in this sport. I really hope that they will something,” said Hj Johari.
“Now with that in mind, I really hope that this could inspire and entice the younger players to venture into the sport and follow the footstep of these players.
“We have the right setting here in Brunei for the sport to go further and I believe that we will be able to have more world class players in the future,” he added.